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Terrorists Kill Five Soldiers In Mali

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No fewer than five troops were killed in central Mali on Wednesday when their convoy was ambushed by jihadists, the armed forces confirmed.

The army on its Twitter feed said that the attack occurred on a road between the villages of Boni and Hombori.

“FAMA (the Malian armed forces) suffered five dead. Equipment was also destroyed,” it said.

A local official said gunfire was heard and another said “the jihadists… burned at least two military vehicles. At least two soldiers were also wounded.”

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the rebels were forced out by a French-led military intervention.

However, much of the region remains chronically unstable and since 2015 violence has spread to the centre of the country.

AFP

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Unruly FRCN reporters harass NUJ President, Isiguzo, others in Ibadan

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Some staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan Office on Tuesday displayed their unruly behaviour to Chief Chris Isiguzo, the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other members of his entourage.

The delegation led by the president had visited the station as part of his ongoing official visit to Ibadan.

The members of staff led by Mr Adedayo Adelowo(Associate Member), Laolu Fawole(Suspended Member) and Mrs Abisola Oluremi (Associate Member) had besieged the gate harassing members of the delegation.

Some members of the delegation were later allowed into the premises leaving others who could not stand the harassment to leave the premises.

However, a top official of the station who craved anonymity, said the members of staff have just caused the station corporate embarrassment, saying they would pay dearly for the act.

It would be recalled that Mr Adewunmi Faniran, a staff of the station and immediate past Chairman of NUJ in the state had lost his re-election to Mr Ademola Babalola in the last election held on Dec. 18, 2019.

Faniran, who is from the FRCN chapel, one of the 10 existing chapels in the state had only six votes to the 179 votes polled by Babalola in the election.

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Babalola and Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West) in separate interviews condemned the act, saying such act was not good for the image of a government institution like FRCN.

The duo in their reaction said that the members of staff should have sought a better civilised way of channeling their grievances than resorting to self-help in the form of harrassment and hooliganism.

Babalola called for calm, saying they are yet to come to terms with the reality on ground.

“They are my members and you can understand when one of them came to plead for my understanding that they were acting on the orders of their boss.

“I know they are still suffering from the defeat of their boss but they should understand that power comes from God and only Him enthrones whosoever He wishes.

“They are my members and I will welcome them back to the fold anytime they are ready. For us, one out of existing 10 chapels in the State cannot hold the union to ransom,” Babalola added.

A text message sent to the Zonal Director of the station to get his reaction was not replied as at the time of filing the report.

On the entourage of the president were Mr Cosmas Oni, Vice-President(South West), Chief Wilson Bako, Vice President (North Central), Mrs Bimbola Oyetunde, SSA to the NUJ President, who is also General Manager, Bronze FM.

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Also on the delegation are Alhaji Alli Atabor, National Trustee, Mr Silva Okereke, National Trustee, Mr Abiodun Olalere, Former Chairman, NUJ Osun Council, Mr Bamigbola Gbolagunte, NUJ Zonal Secretary(South West).

Others are Babalola, Oyo NUJ Chairman, Mr Sola Oladapo, Oyo NUJ Secretary and Mr Akeem Abas, Oyo NUJ Treasurer.

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Kano govt. to continue N3.4bn probe against Emir Sanusi

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The Kano State government has reaffirmed that it will continue the investigation into the alleged financial misappropriation of over 3.4 billion naira against Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.

The government through Mr Muhyi Magaji Rimingado, Executive Chairman of Kano State public complaints and anti-corruption commission stated  this while reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Kano that quashed the interim investigation report.

Mr Rimingado at a press conference on Monday, said though the court has nullified the report on the basis of non-invitation of the Emir,but his commission will go ahead with its investigation and invite Emir Sanusi in compliance with the court ruling.

He added that another option available to the Kano State government is to appeal the judgment as there are numerous grounds for appeal.

 

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‘All hands on deck to implement Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones’ – Nanono

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the  federal government  has held a meeting with stakeholders to discuss details around Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria.

A workshop was held in Abuja from 17 to 18 February to address the categorization and location of the SAPZs, which are meant to kickstart the agriculture sector.

Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, lauded the efforts of the African Development Bank and called for all hands to be on deck in the sustainable implementation of the initiative.

“I am proud that the SAPZ project is taking off, with strong collaboration with the African Development Bank. The project is indeed a promising one for the future of agriculture in Nigeria,” he said.

The well-attended forum presented all stakeholders with the opportunity to follow up on outcomes of previous design interventions. The workshop was attended, among others, by Afreximbank, the International Finance Corporation, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Development Bank of Nigeria and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria.

The Senior Special Adviser to the President of the African Development Bank, Oyebanji Oyeyinka-Oyelaran, outlined the strategy for Nigeria, saying it would focus on developing key value chains and select the most promising agricultural clusters.

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“The strategy will also promote inclusivity, have a positive multiplier effect in the zones of influence, by increasing yields through the use of modern technologies – improved seed, fertilizers, mechanization, digitization, irrigation and maximize positive engagement of youth and women,” he said.

He further explained that value addition through better handling of post-harvest losses and processing of the commodities would be a key feature of this program in order to boost competitiveness.

Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones are integrated development initiatives designed to concentrate agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential to boost productivity, integrate production, processing and marketing of selected commodities.

These zones enable agricultural producers, processors, aggregators and distributors to operate in the same vicinity to reduce transaction costs and share business development services for increased productivity and competitiveness.

By bringing adequate infrastructure (energy, water, roads, ICT) to rural areas of high agricultural potential, SAPZs attract investments from private agro-industrialists/entrepreneurs to contribute to the economic and social development of rural areas.

“The establishment of SAPZs in Nigeria will boost the structural transformation of the economy by providing opportunities for public and private sector investment in agriculture,” said Ebrima Faal, Senior Director for the African Development Bank in Nigeria.

“When fully operational, the SAPZs will enhance national food and nutritional security, optimize the export of value-added agricultural commodities and improve the quality of livelihoods through wealth creation for rural farming communities,” he added.

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